Kristen Jensen advocates for the use of waste or "unwanted items" as new material resources within the field of interior design. Her aim is to challenge the notion of design idealism and explore how the industry can re-imagine standards collectively. Kristen hopes her work inspires others to consider the depletion of Earth's resources and actively reduce unwanted items in ecosystems.
Kristen received the "Best in Sustainable Practice" award during Ryerson University's 2021 Year End Show and Digital Design Festival for her curiosity of materials, innovative ideas, and thought-provoking design considerations.
In this project entitled Design with Waste, the Ryerson School of Interior Design is re-designed to address current thermal and ventilation issues. This will be achieved by designing for deconstruction (not demolition) and utilizing waste as a primary material.
The vast two storey studio will be re-organized into a clustered three level arrangement by deconstructing the existing second and third floor studio into a series of smaller vertical units (re-using the deconstructed site materials as much as possible).
By spatially re-organizing the one floor open concept into a vertical stacked design, thermal ventilation is addressed in numerous ways. First, by creating verticality, hot air rises through the atrium and is eventually led out through the center stairway cavity leading to the roof (similar to that of a ventilation chimney effect). Second, floor to slab partitions are replaced by adjustable curtains made of various up-cycled materials for spatial flexibility. Finally, permanent seating is pulled away from hot/cold zones located on the east/west perimeter of the interior creating more optimal conditions for occupants.
To provide more comfortable outside access, the RSID building roof will be converted into a rooftop garden. A double building skin is introduced to better regulate interior temperatures and the facade materials will be locally sourced from up-cycled bricks.
The three story stacked volume with addition of the exterior roof garden not only improves thermal and ventilation issues but also offers flexible spaces that can be reprogrammed daily, seasonally or annually as needed without future renovation leading to demolition and construction waste.